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Putting Aging Workforce on Employment Planning Radar: Results from an AARP Florida/Florida Trend Survey

What are Florida businesses doing to prepare for older worker retirement or retention? Not nearly enough according to a recent AARP survey of Florida business leaders. Only one in four say their organizations are preparing for a shortage of employees as the boomer generation begins retiring.

This year the leading edge baby boomers turn 59. A rapidly aging workforce coupled with a shrinking pool of highly skilled younger workers is likely to bring increased focus among business leaders on recruiting and retaining older workers. The characteristics that Florida business leaders say they seek in all employees closely match the qualities they find in older workers. Survey respondents say that older employees have high commitment to doing quality work, loyalty to the company, good basic skills, reliable performance records, and solid experience in the job or industry.

Many Florida employers report that they are currently using, planning to use, or would consider using a number of approaches that accommodate employees who want to work past traditional retirement age. These approaches include upgrading employee skills, reducing work schedules and hiring retired workers.

Florida Trend and AARP Florida collaborated to conduct this survey. Fielded between May and July 2005, nearly 800 Florida business leaders responded to the survey. The full methodology and survey responses are available at The report was written by Rachelle Cummins, AARP Knowledge Management, who may be contacted for more information at 202-434-6297. (4 pages)